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Animals

How do cats land on their feet?


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Most of the time, a cat will land on his feet when he falls. His body reflexively corrects its course so that by the time he arrives on the ground, his feet are in position to hit first. The height of a cat's fall determines how well, or how poorly, his legs can absorb the shock of landing.

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The cat righting reflex is a cat's innate ability to orient itself as it falls, in order to land on its feet. The righting reflex begins to appear at 3–4 weeks of age, and is perfected at 6–7 weeks. Cats are able to do this because they have an unusually flexible backbone and no functional clavicle.

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